UK Gambling Commission to Make Gambling Safer in Scotland

UKGC Police Scotland initiative.

UKGC and Police Scotland join forces to make the UK gambling and betting industry a safer place for operators and customers. (Image:

The UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) mission to increase the safety and quality of the industry moved another step forward recently thanks to a join initiative with Police Scotland.

As part of its ongoing commitment to improving awareness of gambling issues between betting shops and local police forces, the UKGC recently set-up a project that will see Police Scotland educate officers across the country.

At the heart of the operation is a two step process that will not only help betting shop staff to better identify common crimes, but train officers to carry out inspections on licensed premises.

An Ongoing Commitment to Safety and Security

According to Helen Venn, program director for the UKGC, will build on the 200 “proactive compliance inspections” that have been carried out in conjunction with Scottish authorities since 2014.

“We are committed to working with all our partners to ensure that gambling is fair and open, that criminal activity is prevented and that children and vulnerable people are protected,” said Venn in an official press release.

With anti-gambling proponents continuing to pressure gambling operators and regulators, the latest move by the UKGC is another step in the right direction. Since coming to power in 2007, the UKGC has worked to make the UK one of the leading regulated gambling markets in the world.

In fact, once online gambling becoming part of the organisation’s remit in 2014, the UKGC has worked to make the UK the “gold standard” for iGaming regulation. Although the latest collaboration with Police Scotland is designed to tackle betting shop crime, it serves as another example of the regulatory body’s willingness to tackle controversial issues head on.

Wales Pushing for More FOBT Powers

In other UK gambling news this week, Labour is preparing a final push to have the same power over FOBTs as Scotland. As it stands, the UK government has devolved power to Scotland with regards to the management and social impact of the betting shop terminals.

Shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens is now pushing for the same deal for Wales where it’s estimated patrons stake £1.6 billion annually across a network of 1,500 FOBTs. One of the main issues Labour would look to address if power is devolved would be the maximum stake.

Fruit machine players in Wales are currently limited to a maximum bet of £2 per spin and MPs want FOBTs to be the same. Although the proposal will have to receive approval from the Commons before it’s officially ratified, the move will likely strike a chord with other gambling opponents.

Over the last two years, FOBTs have been the subject of much debate in Parliament and the media. However, although the government announced a review back in October 2016, no changes have yet been implemented in England or Wales.

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